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  US-China Foreign Language

Volume 9, Number 8, August 2011

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Volume 9, Number 8, August 2011 (Serial Number 95)
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Bridging the gap between independent cinema and mainstream cinema, the best films by Wayne Wang belong to the tradition of cinema of personal statement. His two early films, Chan Is Missing (1982) and Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985), set in the Chinese community in San Francisco, are penetrating character studies exploring the issues of assimilation and identity formation in the immigrant Chinese community. The two films from the nineties, The Joy Luck Club (1993) and Smoke (1995), explore the themes of miscommunication and cross-cultural differences (a constant presence in his films) in a larger and multiple-story format. While The Joy Luck Club (1993) is set in San Francisco and continues the exploration of the Chinese-American community and inherent generational gaps, Smoke (1995) is set in Brooklyn and does not involve Chinese-American characters. Nevertheless, the themes and their resolution are basically the same, proving the universal nature of Wang’s films. Exploring the nature of everyday lives, Wang’s films can be interpreted in light of many different perspectives. This paper will explore the stylistic features of his films, their implicit Zen-Buddhist subtext, as well as their linguistic dimension, which give an empirical confirmation of the themes explored.

          Keywords: identity formation, Zen-Buddhism, cross-cultural miscommunication, code switching, illocutionary force


Causation reseaches in language mainly focus on the causative verb researches. This paper aims to probe into the subcategories of English causative verbs. Following the route of Comrie (1981) and ZHANG Jing-yu (2002) and absorbing the certain idea of Levin’s (1993) and Haspelmath’s (1993) subdivision of English causative verbs, it argues that there are six subcategies: “clear”-class,retire”-class, “break”-class, “kill”-class, “widen”-class and “make”-class. The elaborate subcategory study of causative verbs can be helpful to the foreign or second language learners.

         Keywords: causation, subcategory, English causative verbs
Chinese students style of English speech is general and vague. Analyzing from four aspects of their speech: position, evidence, reasoning and employment of language, the paper illustrated various historical and cultural reasons of the style. Chinese pattern of thinking is global and they tend to use more quotations, comparison and abstract words for the emotional appeals.

Communication with others in human society is inevitable. Classroom teaching, in essence, is an activity of communication. Teachers and students convey messages by both verbal and non-verbal cues. Since the teacher is put at the dominating role, the non-verbal cues he uses in the classroom have an influence on the teaching effects. Therefore, this paper mainly discusses about the effects of non-verbal communication on college English classroom teaching based on the results of a questionnaire conducted, in the hope that teachers can gain some enlightenment from the analysis.

          Keywords: non-verbal communication, English teaching, effects


Most high school teachers in Indonesia have been teaching English for years without taking care of their writing ability. They confirmed that they wrote their major papers (theses) for finishing their undergraduate program to be teachers; nevertheless, they confessed it was difficult to write. Those phenomena challenge the authors to conduct a research concerning an excellent strategy to motivate the high school teachers in generating ideas for writing. By conducting a short-term training to 33 high school teachers from distinct regencies of the province of South Sumatra for six hours, this study aimed at providing the teachers with a very short and effective way of writing academically as well as scientifically and analyzing the effectiveness of the short-term training model. The findings show that there is significant development of academic writing and the teachers have positive perspective toward the training model.

          Keywords: training model, academic writing, paragraph, essay


This paper presents the important role of computers in foreign language learning, especially the role of web in vocabulary learning for intensive reading. It states the situation of web in foreign language learning and makes a comparison between the traditional ways of vocabulary learning and the web-based vocabulary learning in intensive reading. A small-scale pilot study is conducted and six subjects participate in the vocabulary learning in intensive reading. They finish the vocabulary preparation on the Internet before the intensive reading class. The result of the pilot study shows that the six participants like the way of finding word information, sending their assignment and having feedback through the Internet and they think in this way they remember the words more quickly and understand the text better.

          Keywords: computer, web, vocabulary learning, pilot study

Farewell, My Concubine strategically interplays between making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. Peking Opera, an explicit national art form used in the movie, provides room for CHEN Kai-ge to juggle, appropriate and mobilize the lines between fictive and real, symbolic and referential, familiar and strange, and particular and universal. CHEN successfully draws a connection between the sociopolitical world of modern China and the cultural-historical representation of Peking Opera. CHEN magnifies the symbolic implications of the culturally distinctive element in Peking Opera (such as female impersonation and physical punishment at theater schools). To attract the international audience, Chinese history and Peking Opera are drawn close while homosexuality, individual perversities and moral dilemmas are transposed distant. To Chinese audience, the strange issues such as homosexuality, sexual ambiguity and identity confusion look familiar and harmless through the veil of Peking Opera. The movie not only provides a viable strategy in nationalistic expression, but also exemplifies that there is not a view of the nation as a whole imagining itself to be the unified subject of history. National identity is founded upon fluid relationships. Thus, a Chinese movie crossing national borders should deconstruct and construct its Chinese identity.
The aim of this paper is to present the ambiguity accompanying the reading of Philip Roth’s Everyman (2007) in the face of the multitude of possible interpretations, emphasizing the duality between the autobiographical and non-biographical analysis of the novel. Presentation of the chosen interpretations starts with an approach which perceives certain motifs from Roth’s text, especially death, as a direct reference to his personal life. Rejected by the author himself, this search for direct allusions to autobiographical strands in his oeuvre is followed by the psychoanalytical reading of the novel, first perceiving the text in Freudian terms as an expression of repressed wishes stored in the author’s personal unconscious, and then referring to the Jungian mode of treating the recurrent motifs of death and ageing as the archetypical expression of the collective unconscious. To contrast the abovementioned views, the novel is next interpreted as a contemporary morality tale patterned on the medieval play under the same title. This allusion is perceived as the writer’s compassion for everybody who experiences universal fears of death, pain and ageing, and realizes absurdity of his/her passing life. Concluding the analysis, one may realise the fact that the search for meaning is a multi-layer process and seeking one proper interpretation is a futile attempt.



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Publication Information:

US-China Foreign Language is published monthly in hard copy (ISSN 1539-8080) and online (ISSN 1935-9667) by David Publishing Company located at 240 Nagle Avenue #15C, New York, NY 10034, USA.

Aims and Scope:

US-China Foreign Language, a monthly professional academic journal, covers all sorts of researches on literature criticism, translation research, linguistic research, English teaching and other latest findings and achievements from experts and foreign language scholars all over the world.


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